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Session 1: The state of Global Voices (Part 3) December 10, 2005

Posted by Angelo Embuldeniya in GV05, Session 1.
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As we start becoming media, we’re playing in that game (with msm) and what we choose to cover / what we don’t cover is becoming an item of debate, of critique… everyone here has had the experience of having someone come to them and say they have the wrong opinion, aren’t covering the right guy.. We all need to challenge ourselves; look at who we’re linking to, &c, and say “am I uncomfortable enough with this?”. If you’re comfortable with everyone you’re linking to, you’re probably not linking to enough voices.

We’ve now gotten to the point where that critique is coming from the outside, every day; we’re spreading this to you guys so everyone knows what we’re hearing; so

1) don’t screw up :

2) make sure you’re transparent

about who you’re reading

3) figure out what to do next. that’s what today is all about.

When we met a year ago, we talked about an incredible range of ideas. We’ve demonstrate that the idea there could be a single place on the web where you could see an amazing diversity of perspectives; we’ve run with it, and been successful with it. minus a few very public screwups but there’s a whole other slew of ideas we were playing with, that have come up this year. But because this is a public organization, because this is our organization, we can decide this, all of us — you guys have so much control over what is going on here, these are things we have to decide as a group, if Rebecca and I decided tomorrow we wanted to do [something in particular]…[wouldn’t be the same] whether we want to have global voices in other languages; whether we want to work on translation, move into other areas….but *we* aren’t going to decide this; you have to decide this.

GV has to be a platform for all of us to do projects. Neither (Rebecca or I) do this fulltime! We work on this every day, but not all day. Look at this conference : we didn’t plan a Friday night dinner; we didn’t plan to have a face book, but we had people step up and plan to do a face book… we didn’t plan to do a live blog on this, but now we have a live blogger who’s keeping track of this while we’re doing this! This is gv at its best. A chance for people to launch other projects.

Rebecca says: a chance to hear from regional editors?

Rebecca getting input on South Aisan and Middle Eastern Blogging from Nhea and Haitham (via flickr)
Ethan says – just to talk about some highlights of what’s happening, what you see going on in your part of the world. Maybe we can start with haitham? or with neha 🙂

Neha says: I joined GV in July. at that tie it seemed I had to read a lot of blogs and link to them… what I didn’t realize at that time was I would in future be linking to conversations, not just blogs; and that fair representation was [a big deal] India having higher representation than, say, Nepal. What I’m trying to do is represent blogs as a whole from s.asia, but also point to the most interesting conversations. In the last 3-4 months, we’ve seen a lot of conversations in the in. blogosphere… as rmack pointed out earlier, the more people point to issues, tag things as ‘globalvoices’ – I know that it’s working. And there’s interaction b/t blogs, which I’m really happy about. Suddenly we have blog saying I never knew about this, but GV is pointing to a post happening at the border; I’m really happy about that.

[Problems with the wifi and Ethan says: just an announcement; I know everyone’s having issues with the wifi: some people should switch to linksys; gently, slowly, one at a time.]

Neha continues to speak:

I think in the last 5 months… it’s been amazing that gv has been such a strong center of gravity; I think there has been cross-participation b/t someone in china… one of the greatest points for me was when a blog post about Chile was translated into Chinese; opening up communication which would never have happened otherwise. Bringing all these convos together has really been the most amazing part for me. What I’d love to see happen in the next year is… have more than just English. We’re getting 8-10% of the world… to really open that up would be amazing.

Ethan says: – 2 ideas that have come out so far : 1 is tagging; the idea that if people are tagging with gv, and paying attention to those tags on flickr, delicious; the other is translation, which will be a major topic we’re talking about today; what are we doing with translation; do we have more on the site? how do we approach this in a way that’s sustainable?

Sokari says: – one of the most important things to come out of the African blogosphere: Africa has been presented in such a negative way in the past 10 years; the blogosphere has presented a diff side of Africa. There are Africans talking about positive things; about — even when you talk about crises; that it’s done in a positive way… us speaking for ourselves. Another positive thing: when I joined in October, I wasn’t aware of all the blogs out there; and there was one, an American’s blog, saying where are all the women bloggers? and I responded saying ‘where are all the African women? I went out looking for them… I was amazed at how many there were that I didn’t know about. That’s been an important opportunity; also for us to get to know each other; I’ve also talked to other volunteers in sub-Sahara about what we’ve learned about one another’s countries.

Recently on the Kenyan election this was a huge conversation’ others were saying, this is amazing1 another example was quit recently; there were some pictures put up on flickr, which had come through to me on a feed. I’d sent an email through to the African group about this. it started a huge conversation about rights and wrongs and photographs… which also made us realize that the African Diaspora had a v. different perspective than say Africans blogging /in/ Africa.

Ethan says: – before we give haitham the mike, bringing two things out of what sokari just said: one thing we’ve been seeing is : a lot of hat’s going on is an attempt to correct perceptions in the developing world in Africa a lot of people explicitly state that’s what they’re doing with their blogs. This is why when Brendan is asking questions, going to do interviews, he’s going to ask what should I know about your country that I don’t know.

the other thing sokari mentioned that she’s done a lot of is meetups. One thing we’re finding is that, as editors, as contrib. from country, we’re often able to say, ok, let’s get all the Tunisian bloggers together! sometimes when you get people together from a region, some of it is crossing of issues., which has been cool for many people working on this

Haitham says: – the mideast… it’s a great chance to present the citizen media; before that all the voices were there but not given enough attention. Always the human side – what is behind the news, how does the media represent… with all the problems going on in the middle east. What do the people behind the events feel… this is an important part of what’s going on in that part of the world; wrong perceptions of politics, etc; at the same time, starting to bring some balance into some areas within the blogosphere, talking about things from the far east to the mid-east; everyone’s different perspective, also about the conflict going on in Palestine.

For example, the Amman explosion, where we saw everyone supported these guys… but this is completely different from what the media always likes to tell us. which is what we’re here for.

(Tagged: gv2005, globalvoices)

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